Mayor Strimling and Police Chief Sauschuck have both publicly stated that black lives matter. Yet, they have also commended the PPD for its “professionalism” and “empathy” in response to the July 15 protest. City Manager Jennings’ only comment has been that the PPD’s response was “a tremendous example of what makes this city great.”

I was an eyewitness. Mayor Strimling, Police Chief Sauschuck and City Manager Jennings, I have to ask you: How is it professional to allow a white agitator to drive into peaceful protesters and then starting arrests because that agitator felt “threatened?”

How is it honorable to target the black protesters for arrest, only arresting white allies when they called attention to the injustice?

Why were women forced to remove their hijabs during processing and threatened with indefinite solitary confinement if they did not comply?

If those actions constitute an ideal response to a peaceful protest and civil disobedience, then it is clear whose lives and rights you believe should be protected and whose you feel do not deserve to be – regardless of whatever you said for the media.

You have made it clear that a white man, who is clearly intoxicated, can yell white supremacist sentiments in the faces of protesters for 20 minutes, drive into them with his vehicle and then be permitted to leave the scene without even being administered a sobriety test.

You have made it clear that you consider peaceful black protesters condemning institutionalized racism a threat to public safety while you deem a white man who drives into non-violent protesters for retaliation a “victim.”

Who will hold these officers accountable? Will it be Chief Sauschuck? Mayor Strimling? City Manager Jennings? Anything to say?

The people are waiting.

Susanna Rajala

Portland